Zamani Saul is new ANC Northern Cape chairperson

WEB_IMAGES_AFile: Musawenkosi Masina was arrested for selling fraudulent permits to informal business owners.NC_FLAG_20170403

File: Musawenkosi Masina was arrested for selling fraudulent permits to informal business owners.

COLESBERG - Former ANC Northern Cape secretary Zamani Saul was elected unopposed as the party's provincial chairperson on Friday.

Other candidates, including the provincial premier, declined nomination.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the elective conference in Colesberg, telling members that the ANC's renewal must start in the Northern Cape.

"It must start here," said Ramaphosa, who used the opportunity to tout his idea for the renewal and rebirth of the ANC.

Many supporters agree with Ramaphosa that the ANC must undergo a metamorphosis to survive.

He told the gathering a mythical story, about an old eagle preparing for its next phase of life.

"We must go through this painful process of removing the blunt claws and the blunt beaks. So that we may be stronger again - that is what the ANC must do," Ramaphosa stressed.

Policy guru Joel Netshitenzhe led the conference through ideas on strategy and tactics. He condemned the return of Brian Molefe to Eskom, saying it showed the ANC had lost control.

"Disappointed and angered by the actions of its deployees? Which then demonstrates that the vanguard has lost its DNA, it's lost its ability to lead," said Netshitenzhe.

When the electoral contest officially got under way, it was one-way traffic, with Northern Cap[e premier Sylvia Lucas and all candidates aligned to her declining nomination.

"Unfortunately, I will not accept," said Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas when she was nominated, making Saul the new provincial chairperson.

However, Lucas promised the outcome of the conference would be appealed within ANC structures due to electoral irregularities.

It's too early to tell who the Northern Cape’s newly elected leadership will officially support come the national ANC elective conference in December.

But if Ramaphosa's reception and the election of his apparent supporters are anything to go by, the province might well be running with the deputy president.